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BMW launches EV sharing in San Francisco

The service, a joint venture between rental company Sixt and BMW Group, launched in Germany in June 2011 using conventionally-powered vehicle and has since grown to 45,000 members spanning Munich, Berlin and Dusseldorf, with Cologne to join this autumn.

DriveNow will also be used to support the forthcoming BMW i electric vehicle range, offering a service where owners can borrow conventionally-powered models for journeys outside their own vehicle’s electric range.

In San Francisco, a fleet of 70 1 Series-based battery-electric ActiveE cars have been deployed at nine pick-up locations across the city. Customers can register online and reserve a vehicle via the website or mobile app, dropping them off at any DriveNow location when the loan is finished.

Extending the group’s partnership with Coulomb Technologies, customers will also be able to use the ChargePoint network of privately owned, public access charging stations across San Francisco. Parking and charging at DriveNow locations is provided free of charge and BMW will add 14 ParkNow parking spaces, which can be reserved remotely, across the city from September.

Ian Robertson, member of the board of management of BMW AG, responsible for BMW sales and marketing, explained: ‘The BMW Group not only manufactures premium automobiles, but also develops a range of services to meet the growing need for flexible mobility solutions in urban areas.

‘The launch of DriveNow and ParkNow in San Francisco and other cities is part of our commitment to the development of new mobility offerings, which will reduce the level of pollutant emissions and traffic congestion and improve quality of life for residents.’

Alex Grant

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